Summary: What blessings are ours because of the Cross?
THE PURPOSE OF THE CROSS
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of
wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was
the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of
darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had
everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to
heaven, we were all going direct the other way in short, the period was so
far like the present period. Charles Dickens wrote this from the novel, "A
Tale of Two Cities". As I thought about the message for this day, these
words fit with what we face.
We know on the cross seven times He spoke, seven words of love. All three
hours His silence cried for mercy on the souls of men.
One day of the year was special which was called the Day of Atonement in the
O. T. The high priest entered the Holy of Holies and sprinkled the blood of
the sacrifice to open the blessings of God. God was there to bless the
people through this ritual.
RM. 8:32 "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,
how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" We do not need
the Day of Atonement any more because of what Jesus did for us.
Jesus gave His life that we might enjoy the special privileges and blessings
of God. Let us see what He gives to us:
1. Christ died to pay for our freedom from all wickedness. Tit. 2:14 "who
gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for
himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." RM
1:18-24The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the
godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their
wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God
has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s
invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly
seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without
excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor
gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish
hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like
mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Wherefore God also gave them
up." 2 TH 2:12 "All will be condemned who have not believed the truth but
have delighted in wickedness." 2 TIM 19Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation
stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are
his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from
wickedness." Our natural attitude toward God is not right. We are inclined
to do wicked works. It is from these wicked works that the blood of Jesus
Christ sets us free. To be redeemed from all wickedness means to be
delivered from everything that hinders us from becoming like Him who sets us
free. We are set free from all the motive, intentions, purposes and tempers
that forbid our being able to fulfill God’s divine plan for us. PS 11:5 The
Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates everyone who loves
violence. 32:10 Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love
surrounds those who trust the Lord. 37:17 For the strength of the wicked
will be shattered, but the Lord takes care of the godly.
2. Christ died for us that He might bring us to God. 1 PT 3:18 "Christ also
suffered when he died for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but
he died for sinners that he might bring us safely home to God. He suffered
physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit." We are not brought
to God as a criminal in need of punishment but as a child of God. The death
of Christ brings us to God in these ways: 1. It brings us to a knowledge of
God. How else could we have knowledge if Jesus did not come to bring it? 2.
It brings us into favor with God. Nothing we could do or say could bring us
into favor with God. 3. We are received by faith into the likeness of God.
The Bible declares we are made partakers of the Divine Nature. 4. We are
received into the enjoyment of God. "At your right hand are pleasures